St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office launches new tracking program

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - For Mindy Mangiarano her mother's lifesaver bracelet is a welcome addition to her wardrobe.

"It has not been very easy," she said.

Six years ago Mangiarano mother was diagnosed with dementia.

"I started noticing she was misplacing things," she said. 

Then it got worse. One day she came home to find a former caregiver had let her mother walk out of the house.

"I said where's my mother? She said she went for a walk and I said she doesn't know the neighborhood," Mangiarano recalled.

It took hours before she was able to locate her.

"She was just standing in the middle of the road crying because she didn't know how to get back," Mangiarano recalled.

Since that day, she's kept a close eye on her mother and now thanks to a bracelet she'll have a little extra help.

"The LOST program is an umbrella program we use to locate those people if they go missing," Capt. Brian Hester said. 

The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office has partnered with Alzheimer's Community Care and SafeNet Tracking systems to provide tracking equipment. Deputies spent hours Wednesday learning how to track and locate the bracelets.

"We want a way to be able to locate these people rather than not having any tools in our toolbox," she said.

Right now they have 50 people enrolled in the program. Mangiarano couldn't be happier that her mother is one them.

Hester says the program is $400 per person but says grants are available to cover the costs.

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